Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

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drm
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Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

Post by drm » October 14th, 2013, 5:59 pm

I backpacked into Indian Heaven from Crest Camp on the south. It's not the most exciting entry into Indian Heaven, but I felt like getting a few miles in. Nonetheless I was surprised to head in on a Sunday morning and see no cars when I arrived. Heading up the PCT with temps in the upper 30's at 9:20am, trail conditions were good at first, but then I ran into a couple places where a pond or lake had expanded from the recent rains and swallowed the trail, necessitating a bushwhack around.

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There were two of these - I think that this one was Green Lake.

Of course there was plenty of good shroomage along the trail

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The first people I saw was at Blue Lake, 7 miles in

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The plan had been to turn left at Junction Lake and find a camp in the large meadows to the west to find an unpopulated camp that would get some early sun the next morning. But it was very soggy on that unmaintained trail and the meadows over there, and clouds had moved in to stop any more drying. So I decided to bag that for a drier trip and head on to Bear Lake, where I bagged the camp on the peninsula that sticks into the lake.

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There were many clouds but some clearing and I had a nice sunset

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Temps got down to somewhere around freezing. The thermometer on my watch in the tent said -0 deg (which I suppose is colder than +0). Outside, where most stuff had a layer of frost, the zip thermometer on my pack said 35. The shallowest water at the edge of the lake had a bit of ice on it.

Heading back, I saw a group of elk just north of Berry Mtn. I got a good view of them and even got the camera out. But they weren't that close and with the dense forest, was only able to get this shot.

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To finish out, I decided to take the scenic route, go through Indian Racetrack and over Red Mountain, which has a nice lookout on it (as seen from the south side of Berry Mtn).

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As I expected, Indian Racetrack was also pretty soggy

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But it wasn't too hard to detour around this and head up the steep trail that goes up the north side of Red Mountain, where I had a wonderful final break on the balcony of the lookout before the final 4 mile road walk back to the car.

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bobcat
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Re: Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

Post by bobcat » October 14th, 2013, 6:37 pm

Nice trip. Looks like all the snow has melted off of Indian Heaven, at least on those trails. Your amanitas look the same as Van Marmot's.

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

Post by drm » October 14th, 2013, 6:44 pm

bobcat wrote:Nice trip. Looks like all the snow has melted off of Indian Heaven, at least on those trails.
There was the slightest amount of snow on the trail, and I saw a lot more on Lemei Rock, but it will all be gone shortly. Should be great for another week, looks like.
bobcat wrote:Your amanitas look the same as Van Marmot's.
The very same apparently, south of Junction Lake on the PCT (for whoever goes there next!).

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adamschneider
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Re: Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

Post by adamschneider » October 14th, 2013, 11:50 pm

How's the PCT from Junction Lake to Bird Mountain? Any flooding on that stretch?

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven - Bear Lake and Red Mtn

Post by drm » October 15th, 2013, 7:01 am

adamschneider wrote:How's the PCT from Junction Lake to Bird Mountain? Any flooding on that stretch?
I went only as far north as Bear Lake. Actually, aside from a couple of minor down trees, it was in great condition all the way from the Indian Racetrack turnoff to Bear Lake. Just a few modestly muddy sections. And the east winds will help to dry things out with the sun. The high points and east-facing slopes could be kind of windy.

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